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Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 26 November 1938 (USA)
A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The 'Dead End' Kids
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Bim
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Hunky (as Bernard Punsley)
Joe Downing ...
Steve
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Edwards
Adrian Morris ...
Blackie
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Storyline

Two boyhood friends, Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly have taken different paths in life. After Rocky is arrested he is sent to a juvenile facility and becomes a lifelong tough guy and criminal. Jerry on the other hand goes straight and becomes a Catholic priest ministering to people in the same neighborhood when he and Rocky grew up. When Rocky is released from prison he resumes his criminal lifestyle and becomes much admired by many of the local kids. Worried that the kids will follow Rocky into the criminal world, Jerry works hard to keep them on the straight and narrow. When Rocky is convicted and sentenced to the electric chair, Jerry asks him for one last favor. Written by garykmcd

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Taglines:

A Big Time Cast in a Big City Drama Destined to be the Biggest Hit in Years! See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

26 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Battle of City Hall  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rowland Brown's story was revised a number times by John Wexley and Warren Duff. They provided "powerful treatments", but as with many of the "catch-as-catch-can" pictures of the time, the screenplay was "insubstantial". James Cagney later recalled: "the actors had to patch up [the script] here and there by improvising right on the set". See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, during the scene where Rocky is shooting it out with the police in the warehouse, watch the "concrete" pillar Rocky has taken cover behind. Seconds before a bullet impact appears on the pillar, a close up reveals a slight round indentation surrounded by a lighter coloring of paint, exactly where the bullet squib, which has been embedded in the pillar, explodes moments later. An immediate cut to Rocky's reaction has him bumping the pillar with his hands, at which point the entire "concrete" pillar wobbles slightly. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry, As a Boy: Bulls eye!
William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy: It's as dead as a door nail around here.
Jerry, As a Boy: Yeah.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Played by the organ grinder during the opening panorama
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A favorite Bogart film by default...
15 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Angels With Dirty Faces" has become a favorite Bogart film by default; it has been shown so often and has served as the prime source of material for countless satirists and impressionists…

It is the familiar tale of two young boys who grow up to be on opposing sides of the field—one a gangster (James Cagney) and the other a priest, (Pat O'Brien). The story was obviously sentimental… Its saving virtues were the performances by the leads, clever and suave, energetic direction by Michael Curtiz, and a good music score by Max Steiner…

Bogart had little, and certainly nothing new, to do as he played Cagney's lawyer-turned-nightclub-owner who double-crosses him…


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